Pubdate: Thu, 24 Jul 2008
Source: Honolulu Advertiser (HI)
Copyright: 2008 The Honolulu Advertiser,
Author: Wray Jose


Your July 22 editorial, "Union must not renege on random drug
testing," argues that the time for teachers to have raised
constitutional objections to random drug testing was when the teacher
contract was being "hammered out," and that it is time now to "move on
to more important issues, like educating our children."

The only thing threatening the task of educating our children is a
practice that would drag teachers out of the classroom for drug
testing when there is no basis for suspecting they have done anything

Gov. Linda Lingle's last-minute take-it-or-leave-it demand for random
drug testing left teachers no time to properly vet the constitutional
issues involved when the contract was being "hammered out." No
contractual term, not even one agreed to by the parties, is
enforceable if it is unconstitutional.

The teachers' union is seeking a declaratory judgment from the Hawai'i
Labor Relations Board on the constitutionality of the drug-testing
provision. The labor board should be allowed to rule on this important
issue before random testing is implemented.

There should be no expiration date on the protection of civil
liberties for which so many brave Americans have long fought and died.

Wray Jose

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